It has taken until well into mid-January for Summer to arrive in Sydney, but it hit this week with a vengeance.
We look set for another warm week ahead and no doubt for a long and muggy February with the only good news being the masks look set to come off this week. That is, provided we don’t see a third wave born out of ‘The Fighting Irish’ congregating in bars throughout Eastern Sydney for yesterday’s McGregor fight.
Other events that were over in rather quick time across the weekend included Race 1 at Randwick for 2yo’s over the 1000m with the aptly named Stay Inside stopping the clock in quicker time than the highly touted Enthaar was able to in the Gimcrack. That run, her only start, saw her rocket into Slipper favouritism at $6 while curiously $21 is still on offer for the Colt Stay Inside.
Some hot and sticky afternoons on the punt ahead of us between now and March 20 but hopefully we can keep your pockets lined until then.
Stay Inside (Syd Race 1)
Won, won well and in very smart time. Some query around it with a +9m rail and there weren’t exactly any million dollar offerings chasing him home but you can’t do any more than he did on Saturday. Enthaar is no doubt ridiculous ‘unders’ this far out, but a good case to say this fellow is at least somewhat ‘overs’ and worth a lazy lobster at those juicy double figure odds.
The Face (Syd Race 4)
My only bet of the day. Was a little nervous when he dwelt, but Jamie Innes Jr showed the poise of a maturing rider by allowing the horse to balance up for a couple of strides before allowing his natural speed to work through and find the lead comfortably. Pretty much end of section there. Did everything right in the run and opened up nicely when asked. Very solid win for a horse having just start number five. Still not completely sold on the name but more than likely heads to the Eskimo Prince next where I’ll be the first one screaming “Come on The Face!” if he kicks clear at the furlong.
Rocketing By (Syd Race 5)
A little over a decade now since Dave Pfieffer branched out on his own and setup stables at Warwick Farm and he’s pretty much had at least one smart one in the barn ever since. It started with Graceful Anna in the 2010 3yo Millions and was most recently punctuated with his first G1 winner, I Am Excited, in last season’s Galaxy. While she’s headed off to greener pastures to play mum, this So You Think colt is no doubt going the right way to becoming the new stable star. Just seven starts, now for three wins, his first in town on Saturday, and now heads to the million dollar Inglis Millennium. Did everything right Saturday and benefited from a patient Bowman ride timing his charge between runners to perfection before easing down on the line. Will only run into a ‘sales restricted’ field in the Millennium and I think he might be a bit better than that.
Quackerjack (Syd Race 8)
Nice to see him back on target after a couple of abbreviated campaigns since his Villiers win. Outsprinted first up over the six furlongs behind Eleven Eleven who franked the form on Millions day. Out to the 1400m Saturday and Parr was able to secure a comfortable spot outside the lead from the tricky draw. Stuck his head in front at the 300m and went with Bandersnatch for a few strides when they levelled up at the 200m, but the pull in weights and a bit of match fitness told but a game effort to the line to hold down 2nd. Goes in all ground and will be primed 3rd and 4th up where he’s likely to run into a few horses resuming in some upcoming stakes races. Worth sticking with.
Dame Kiri (Syd Race 9)
Ultra consistent mare and always respect the stable when they bring one to town. She had no luck basically from the time she entered the straight until the final 50m. She is four runs into her prep now and strikes the exact same race here again in a fortnight. She is ready to win.
All Time Legend (Syd Race 10)
Enjoyed a comfortable lead until the 1000m where McEvoy handed up at the first sign of a challenge. Pretty surprising move given the horse was three runs in and the horse attempting to cross was working from an outside draw. As a result, Parr went on to win the race aboard Soldier of Love who benefited from McEvoy’s error, with All Time Legend held up behind him until the 200m before getting going late to just miss by less than half a length as a short-priced favourite. Not one of McEvoy’s better efforts and surprised more wasn’t made of the ride by acting Chief Stipe Wade Birch given some of his recent lines of enquiry.
Gaulois (Syd Race 8)
He had the right kind of form out of Brisbane to give this a real shake. But looked happy just to go around with them. Real lack of intent from one who’s been up awhile.
Passage of Time (Syd Race 8)
Subject of a lengthy Stewards inquiry which turned up a duck egg after his first up run for new connections. Hasn’t seriously threatened since then. And is getting further off them.
Strawb (Syd Race 9)
I think everyone’s had enough of Strawb. Seriously overrated.